[time-nuts] Anti-Static conductive foam warning

GandalfG8 at aol.com GandalfG8 at aol.com
Thu Jul 24 13:12:02 EDT 2008

Apologies to those who might see this on more than one group or list and  
apologies again if it's old news to everyone but me, but I did think it  
important enough to share.
I've just retrieved a pair of ICs that have been dry stored as spares in a  
component storage rack since 1979, a long time I know but probably not  unusual 
for those of us using and maintaining older equipment.
These, as I thought anyway, were correctly stored with the pins pressed  into 
black anti-static foam, the usual stuff that's been used for this  purpose 
for years.
Unfortunately the foam has broken down into a sticky crumble and the  plating 
on the IC pins is quite badly corroded, probably to the point  where they 
won't take solder. A metal canned crystal lying against the foam has  also 
corroded at the pont of contact.
I've seen this stuff turn into a gooey mess inside some instrument cases  but 
hadn't previously even thought about the same thing  happening where it's 
used used for component storage.
I've checked other trays and whilst not too many used this stuff but  where 
they did there's evidence of similar problems.
I've even got a later large component rack, all ok so far but for how  long?, 
where it was fitted from new to every drawer:-(
That's all, just offered as a word of warning to anyone else with  components 
similarly stored.


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